London, October 2: Walmart, the US-based retail giant, will relinquish its control over UK's supermarket tycoon Asda. The company has sold the company to Lancashire-based Issa brothers in a deal which amounted to £6.8 billion. This would be the first time after 20 years when the ownership of Asda would be reclaimed by British entities. Walmart Tests Drone Delivery to Take On Amazon.
Mohsin and Zuber Issa, better known as Issa brothers, head the petrol forecourt firm EG Group. They have partnered with private equity company TDR Capital to buy the majority stakes in Asda. Walmart has retained a minority stake, and will continue to hold a single seat in the Board.
In a statement issued on Friday, the Issa brothers said they would keep the company headquartered in Leeds. The organisation would focus on expanding its sales through the online route, they said.
Walmart, over the past several months, was considered to offload Asda. The supermarket chain that once dominated the British retail market has been facing cut throat competition from rivals Lidl and Aldi who have rapidly grown their market share.
The change in ownership, however, is expected to rejuvenate the company. "In a constantly changing retailing environment, our new ownership will further enhance our resilience, whilst creating significant, additional opportunities to drive growth," Roger Burnley, chief executive officer of Asda, was reported as saying.